East Wenatchee Ponzi Scheme Arrest

$500k ‘Ponzi scheme’ alleged in arrest of local financial advisor

By Gary Bégin

EAST WENATCHEE — 51-year-old East Wenatchee resident Greg Lone was arrested last week and charged with five counts of theft after he purportedly scammed seven local clients of nearly $500,000.

The financial advisor was charged with first-degree theft after an investigation by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies and the state Department of Financial Institutions.

The alleged crimes took place between 2016-2019 with regulatory and law enforcement officials calling it a Ponzi scheme, wherein one investment is then used to pay promised dividends on another while the money itself is never actually invested anywhere.

Lone’s firm, Paramount Financial Advisors, 616 Suite B, Valley Mall Parkway here, has been closed and no statements have been issued by Lone after requests by NCW Media regarding the alleged crimes.

He allegedly advised clients to withdraw funds from their current investments and place them with Paramount-managed funds. The monies were then used to pay his personal and business expenses.

Lone’s seven defrauded clients were in their eighties or nineties, according to investigators, and resided in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and Cashmere.

Lone was administratively barred in August from acting as a securities broker in Washington. The case was then referred to Douglas County authorities, where he made his first appearance in Superior Court last week. He is currently free on $5,000 bond pending a Dec. 14 arraignment.

Paramount’s website states: “Greg has 24 years of experience in the financial and insurance industries. After studying finance and business management, he began working for an investment advisory firm. Three years into his career, he started his own practice, specializing in international portfolio management. He is currently the founder of Paramount Financial Advisors, LLC, a firm that brings almost a quarter-century of financial planning and insurance experience to its clients. Greg’s mission is to use his experience to help individuals and families achieve their financial goals. Whether those goals are retirement, funding your child’s college education, or insurance, he stands ready to help make your financial future a success.”

Lone’s son Connor, also works at the firm with the website stating: “After graduating from Gig Harbor High School, Connor enlisted in the United States Army and following training, was stationed in Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, Connor moved back to Tacoma, Washington in 2016 and, after receiving his life insurance license, he joined Paramount Financial Advisors.

The son and another employee, Todd Hansen, were not charged.

Hansen is listed as specializing in health and life insurance. “Todd has been in the life and health business since 2009. He is fluent in health insurance options for individuals and mainly focuses in the plans available for Medicare beneficiaries …,” according to the site.

 

 

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